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12/03/2012

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APPROACHING JUNCTIONS SAFELY

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How to approach junctions safely because it's here that most accidents happen


There are two give way lines at most junctions, the first line runs all the way across the junction from one pavement to the other and means:

  • GIVE WAY TO PEDESTRIANS WHO ARE CROSSING

The second line, only on your side of the road, means:

  • GIVE WAY TO TRAFFIC ON THE MAIN ROAD

On your approach to the end of any road you must decide in good time how to deal with the junction

  • Do I go or do I stop?
  • What gear should I be in?
  • How well can I see traffic on the major road?
  • Are pedestrians waiting to cross?
  • Is the junction CLOSED or OPEN?

How do you decide?


CLOSED?

  • A closed junction is one where your view is so limited that you have to be at the Give Way lines before you can see clearly into the road you intend to join. It may be parked vehicles, trees, hedges or even pedestrians
  • Essentially, it's anything that spoils your sight line on your approach to the end of the road
  • If you are approaching a closed junction, stop in the gear you are in and come back to 1st gear as you stop. It's not always necessary to change down to 2nd gear on your approach
  • You might have to change to a lower gear if you've been slowed down by another road user and then wish to regain speed to approach the give way line
  • Once you've stopped and looked in both directions you can then proceed once it is safe to do so
  • Imagine a closed junction as a Red traffic light

OPEN?

  • An open junction is one where your view in to the main road is good on the approach and gradually improves as you get nearer the give way line
  • A good example of an open junction is a roundabout
  • Remember, a junction can only be considered open if your view is good in all directions on your approach
  • The speed and gear used on the approach to an open junction is based entirely upon the speed you can steer through the junction
  • Some open junctions can be approached at 3rd or 4th gear speed, others are best approached at 2nd gear speed
  • This is a decision you must make on the approach, don't leave it until you are halfway over the give way line
  • Imagine an open junction as a flashing amber light
  • Not green
  • A Green light by the way means go if it's clear

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